Who doesn’t love a long, body-shaking, tear-jerking, uncontrollable bout of laughter?
Not only does it bring people together, boost your feel-good endorphins and work your abs (slightly), it’s the most natural, free and enjoyable medicine to boost your immune system and resistance to disease.
Norman Cousins, who miraculously recovered from a fatal disease, reported that as little as five minutes of hearty laughter would cause a 53% increase in the disease-fighting ability of his blood.
How does laughter increase disease-fighting blood? Allow me to share the science behind it.
Much like the heart pumps blood through your blood vessels, the diaphragm is a pump for your lymphatic circulation. When you laugh, the diaphragm becomes more powerful and therefore increases the flow of lymphatic fluid. When this fluid passes through your nodes, lymphocytes (disease-fighting cells) are produced. Increased number of lymphocytes circulating the blood means better immunity towards all diseases, but especially cancer. Laughter also helps your nodes to clean and filter the fluid that passes through your vessels. It removes waste products, dead cells, and even unwanted microorganisms. In other words, laughter = increased lymphatic flow = an improved immune system.
Laughter also decreases stress hormones and releases the body’s feel-good endorphins. These chemicals encourage a general sense of well-being and can even relieve pain.
Tips to laughing more:
Smiling is the beginning of laughter so if you lift the corners of your mouth, you’re halfway there!
Do something silly.
Being the source of somebody else’s laughter can be one of the easiest ways to make yourself laugh.
Seek out funny people.
You’re 30 times more likely to chuckle around others than by yourself.
Watch a funny video on YouTube.
I recommend one where someone is trying not to laugh in a situation that would be inappropriate to do so.
Join a Laughter Club!
We recently attended a Laughter Club in Geelong- it was AMAZING! Check out the link here.
When you hear laughter, move towards it.
Laughter is contagious – the brain’s response to the sound of laughter is to prep the muscles in the face to participate. So, next time you hear someone laughing, don’t be afraid to include yourself, even if you have to be that person that hovers around awkwardly for a while.
We all go through trying times at one stage or another. Laughter can help ease that physical or emotional pain and prompt the saddest to be happy, even if it’s just for a moment. However, laughter doesn’t only provide temporary relief. Due to its effect on the diaphragm, laughter can help your body produce lymphocytes which are infection-fighting cells. Next time you feel a laugh coming on, let it out and feel good knowing that you’re boosting your immune system in the process.
To see more resources about how to get your Giggle On- Check these out: